There have been holidays, fireworks, parades and drinking parties now for two and half straight months and another 5 weeks or so until end of Carnival.... then in March there is the David Fair.
It started with Dia de Campesino or Harvest Festival and dressing up as peasant farmers and dancing the May pole back at the end of September beginning of October. Actually, I did not do these things, rather I chaperoned my daughter and managed the wardrobe.
Then there were the November holidays. The November holidays celebrate Independence days: Independence from Columbia and independence from Spain... they happen at the begining and at the end of the month. That means two sets of parading around the streets of Boquete in fancy dress, no work and parties. Then there was the Cabalgata. This is a horse parade - another spin around Boquete in fancy dress on your horse which is also all dressed up in its best tack. Dancing around the streets in the rain is not for the faint hearted. November was particularly grueling. Add in two children's birthday parties, Halloween and Thanksgiving, and it nearly finished me off.
This was followed very shortly afterwards, the next week, by the end of term performances in school. In my case this meant 3 dance costumes, a cowboy outfit and Typico dancing dresses to pull together all with matching hair. There was also the school photo and all this was hot on the heels of a national costume day and crazy hair day. The job of dressing up your children falls to mothers and dressing up is the National pass-time here in Panama.
We sewed a yellow outfit for modern dance and did yellow matching hair; A blue tutu and blue hair for ballet; Transformed a belly dancer outfit from a lingerie shop in David to fit a 5 yr old as one of Aladin's helpers (it still fell down on the day)- complete with head band and yes, hair. Went to David for a cowboy hat and inserted felt to make it fit a 5 yr old, searched high and low for the checked shirt - gave up on that.
The typico dancing has its own twist of agony: The delightful early morning forage for large fresh flowers to put in the hair do. They should be hibiscus, but having driven all around Boquete in the early morning pouring rain, we concluded hibiscus don't flower when its raining. We picked roses instead.
By this time, I was ready to cancel Christmas. Maybe that is why Mothers Day is strategically placed between November holidays and Christmas. Only way to get mother to organize Christmas and make dinner is with some serious pacifying earlier in the month.
Christmas happens here almost like everywhere else. Here, though there is a parade as well and associated fancy dress, this year on Christmas day. New Year another big celebration, lots of fireworks and more holidays. The fireworks have now been non-stop for over a month. Fireworks is very big business in Panama.
By this time, never been so desperate for early nights, water, lettuce leaves, exercise and even have an urge to conquer piles of paper work. Twarted again: After New Year two consecutive Monday holidays. First Monday back at work and then today the Coffee and Flower Festival....not a full working week yet in January.
Think I will 'pass' on this one. An early night sounds much more fun to me. Must pace myself better next year.